TESTAMENT – The Spitfire Collection

TESTAMENT - The Spitfire Collection
  • 7/10
    TESTAMENT - The Spitfire Collection - 7/10


Release date: March 13, 2007

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Testament’s The Spitfire Collection is a mixed bag of studio and live tracks taken from the band’s catalog with, of course, the Spitfire record label. Half of their releases with Spitfire were live discs; in essence, this offering is another “best of” compilation, including their better known material from the Megaforce years.

Largely known as “The Other Bay Area Thrashers,” Testament is probably the second biggest band to emerge from San Francisco touting the Thrash-Metal banner (Metallica being the most popular). It was the mid-eighties when a band known as The Legacy started rumblings in the music underground; before signing with Megaforce Records and releasing its first album, The Legacy, the band changed its name to Testament. The album was an immediate hit in the Thrash-Metal scene. When the follow-up The New Order hit the streets, the band cemented themselves into the annals of Metal.

The band, a menacing Chuck Billy, alongside guitarists Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson, and rounded out with bassist Gregg Christian and drummer Louie Clemente, set upon the world with an all-out assault. The band broke into regular radio and video play with the likes of “Trial By Fire,” ”Practice What You Preach,” “The Ballad,” “Souls of Black,” and “Return To Serenity.” The band played a fierce style of Metal with blistering fast beats, complex time signatures, and driving rhythms that would frenzy the most fickle of mosh pits. Aside from being one of the heaviest bands around, Testament always had a great sense of melody, which has given them such a long run in their career.

The Spitfire Collection is a good sampling of how Testament has developed over the last ten years. The studio tracks are predominantly from the Demonic and The Gathering discs, which showcase a heavier and darker Testament. The meat and potatoes of this disc, though, are the same old songs that made Testament a mainstay in the music world since their beginnings. Most of the original hits are offered up in a live format here; some feature the classic line-up and some have different variations.

During the late nineties and early two-thousands, the band’s line-up was a revolving door of amazing Metal talent. This collection encompasses some of those players, like the amazing drummer Dave Lombardo, and the riff-heavy guitar of James Murphy. Steve “Zetro” Souza lent a hand on vocals during a time when Chuck Billy was undergoing throat cancer treatments. The songs sound every bit as strong today as they did when they were originally released, some sound even heavier as Testament has stayed the course and refused to mellow over time.

If your Testament anthology is unbroken, then this disc will need to be added to your collection. If you already own The Gathering, First Strike Still Deadly, and Demonic and the two live discs Live In London and/or Live At The Fillmore, then there is nothing new for you here; no bonus features, special art, or anything else offered up as perks. But, if Testament has wandered off your radar for a few years, this is a great rendering of the many faces the band has worn over the years. Still heavy on the Thrash and played with an abundance of talent, Testament is still a safe bet to pick up anytime.


  • Jeremy Juliano

    Jeremy was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He's been involved with and has been following the Metal scene since the early 1980’s. He started out his Metal journey with heavy doses of Maiden, Accept, and Saxon. And in recent years, he has enjoyed the new age of Metal with bands like Hammerfall, Edguy, and Nightwish, to name a few.

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